John L. Maier

  • Retired


Elkhorn, WI




John L. Maier, Jr. is the Retired President of Sweet & Maier, S.C., having practiced primarily in the areas of zoning and land use law, business and estate planning law, planned community development and community association law in both Wisconsin and Illinois.

John graduated from Marquette University in 1971 with a double major in Political Science and History.  In December, 1973, John received his Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he served as an Editor of the Wisconsin Law Review.  John actively practiced law in both Wisconsin and Illinois for the past 35 years.  He is admitted to before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, and the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

John has extensive municipal law experience, having served for over 10 years as a Village Attorney, and as a Town Attorney.  He acted as Special Corporation Counsel in zoning matters to Walworth County, Wisconsin, and also as Special Counsel to the Cities of East St. Louis and Freeport in Illinois.  His experience includes the formation of Inland Lake Renewal Districts, representation of sanitary districts, housing authorities and industrial development corporations.

He also worked extensively in the area of private land use and development including the utilization of creative financing techniques, such as tax increment financing (TIF) and business improvement (BID) districts, construction of large and small scale subdivision and condominium projects, annexation, environmental, and zoning compliance. John lectured frequently on these and other topics for the Wisconsin Bar Association, Wisconsin Association of Law Office Administrators, Walworth County Bar Association, Walworth County Estate Planning Council, the College of Community Association Lawyers and the Wisconsin Condominium Association.

John was responsible for the legal work associated with the origination of some of the largest planned communities in southern Wisconsin, including The Abbey Resort Communities, the Interlaken Resort communities, and the Geneva National community, which is a 2,000-acre condominium complex ultimately involving $500 million in new mixed-use construction centered around three signature golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino.

Areas Of Practice

  • Land Use, Zoning and Development Law
  • Estate and Business Succession Planning
  • Business Organizations
  • Development of Planned Communities
  • Home Owner Associations
  • Condominium Law

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wisconsin
    • Juris Doctor - 1973
  • Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • B.A. - 1971

Honors And Awards

  • 2010-2019 Best Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning
  • 2019 Best Law Firm in Land Use and Zoning
  • 2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyer
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV-Rated
  • Wisconsin Law Review, Editor
  • Honors: Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honor Society)
  • Honors: Pi Gamma Mu (National Social Science Honor Society)
  • Honors: Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyer
  • Best Attorneys in America – 5 years in a row
  • Lawyer of the Year in Land Use and Zoning – Madison, WI
  • Sanford Who's Who
  • 2014 Top Rated Lawyer in Real Estate Law – Corporate Counsel
  • 2014 Top Rated Lawyer in Real Estate Law - The American Lawyer

Professional Associations And Memberships

  • Illinois Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Walworth County Bar Association
  • Wisconsin Association of Law Office Administrators
  • Community Association Institute of Wisconsin(CAI)
  • Walworth County Estate Planning Council